Study: Too much weight may delay infants’ ability to crawl, walk

Mar 30, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Those cute little rolls of fat some infants have may actually slow their ability to crawl and walk, according to a new study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The study, published recently online in The Journal of Pediatrics, shows that infants who are overweight may be slower than thinner to develop motor skills.

“This is concerning because children with motor skill delays may be less physically active and thus less likely to explore the environment beyond arm’s reach,” said Meghan Slining, a nutrition doctoral student at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health and lead author of the study.

The findings are based on observations of 217 African-American first-time mothers who participated in the Infant Care, Feeding and Risk of Obesity Study, a UNC research project funded by the National Institutes of Health. The project is examining - in a population at risk of obesity - how parenting and infant feeding styles relate to infant diet and the risk of babies becoming overweight. The mothers ranged in age from 18 to 35 and their babies were 3 months old. Researchers visited the mothers and infants in their homes between 2003 and 2007. They weighed and measured the children at each visit, and also assessed their at 3, 6, 9, 12 and 18 months.

The researchers found that overweight infants were about twice as likely (1.8 times) as non-overweight infants to have a low score on the Psychomotor Development Index test, reflecting delayed motor development. with high subcutaneous fat (rolls of fat under their skin) were more than twice as likely (2.32 times) as babies without fat rolls to have a low score.

“There are a number of studies that show that weight status during the and toddler years can set young children on an trajectory that may be hard to change,” Slining said. “Our study shows that there are actually immediate consequences as well.”

Explore further: CDC charges Johns Hopkins to lead development of Ebola training module

Provided by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study: U.S. babies are becoming fatter

Aug 10, 2006

U.S. medical researchers have examined more than 120,000 Massachusetts children under age 6 for 22 years -- and found today's babies are fatter.

Bottle feeding and obesity

Mar 07, 2006

Bottle-fed babies who graduate to solid food too early could be storing up weight problems for years to come.

Recommended for you

Study reveals state of crisis in Canadian foster care system

Oct 24, 2014

A new study of foster care in Canada led by a researcher at Western University reveals a shrinking number of foster care providers are available across the country to care for a growing number of children with increasingly ...

Researchers prove the benefits of persimmons for diet

Oct 24, 2014

Alba Mir and Ana Domingo, researchers from the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Valencia, under the supervision of professors Miguel de la Guardia and Maria Luisa Cervera, from the same department, ...

Hand blenders used for cooking can emit persistent chemicals

Oct 24, 2014

Eight out of twelve tested models of hand blenders are leaking chlorinated paraffins when used according to the suppliers' instructions. This is revealed in a report from Stockholm University where researchers analyzed a ...

User comments : 0